A human cleric, rescued from slavers with an amnesia-blanked past
The man’s memories began in Jylee’s Inn in Verbobonc, an expensive place that often caters to the famous. He awoke dressed in his gear and a hearing voice in his head that shouted at him move, you must move to leave the city. Distrusting his own sanity, he went to day clerk’s desk. There, they had the record for his room; he glanced over to see that he—or someone—had written the name “Ofydd” (no surname) in the ledger. And the balance was paid for only one night, the previous. The clerk could not say who had paid it.
Taking that as a sign that the voice had the right idea, he ducked out of the inn, and then circled back around and kept watch from an alley. Nearly an hour later he was about to move on when Verbobonc guards entered the inn. A few minutes later, they left again, at a faster march. Their captain seemed angry as they went.
The voice did not identify itself immediately. It made suggestions; buy equipment here and pay with silver, never gold. Take this trail out at this hour; and when he reached the trail, the usual patrols were nowhere to be seen. While marching, pause here, stay in these bushes; when vagabonds or, once, a trio of ogres crossed the trail and missed him completely. Follow the edge of the Welkwood to Courwood and take a river boat.
He trusted the voice, and when it instructed him, he found that he was a cleric, and wielded holy power. But he lacked a holy symbol. His master revealed himself to the man by placing his feet before a cairn, in a lost part of the woods near Hommlet. Atop the pile was a flat stone. This stone was etched with the mask of Olidamarra, the symbol of the trickster god, as if by acid. He moved away the stones and found a large root-lined space containing only a chest with no lock. At his god’s command, he placed in it most of his gear except a few defensive items, food, and a few coins. Then he picked up the etched stone and carried his new holy symbol from then forward.
The voyage took him months, and with no clear endpoint, he thought he might have to wander forever. But soon he found that his destination was Stoneheim, and he reached this place without a coin left. Now Olidamarra acted to make sure he needed no more money. The man followed the instructions as before, went where the voice told him to go, and at the time prescribed. And that is how he found himself standing, hungry and defenseless, in an alley surrounded by slavers.
They took him away, and gave him 9 months of body-breaking labor as a slave. The voice of the god became silent. Every night, after a meal that was much less than his body demanded, and his ration of filthy water, he cursed the Trickster; why had He given the man up to be abused by evil?
His labors involved stoking a fire, and so he would steal charcoal dust, by smearing it into his own hair. He stole paper as well, and made charcoal drawings, using his fingers as brushes. These drawings were faces. He knew not why he drew these faces. They were detailed, and artful; he knew not where his own talent came from. He kept these drawings.
When the slavers brought in the party of warriors and spellcasters, and they fought and freed the slaves, none could be more surprised than he to see on them the faces from his drawings. When they left, the voice returned.
To Hommlet, it said, and curse me no more, and in the voice there was laughter. He abased himself in shame, and then went, retracing his steps, stopping only to pick up some of the silver that was left behind by the triumphant warriors. He gathered his belongings, and he went to the town, and he waited, drawings in hand, for the warriors to arrive again.